A private view at the TOTEM exhibition, hosted at Whitechapel’s Gallery 46, gave us a chance to meet some of the artists behind the totem sculptures.
Sculptures featured in the exhibition included a stack of brightly coloured letters, spelling “peace”, by artist Gemma Tickle; Studio Rude’s decorated panels of wood, which read “lucky to be free, free to be lucky”; and Marcus Walter’s two-handed totem raising up from a rainbow. The sculptures oozed colour, juxtaposed against the white plinths and backdrop, allowing us to explore each totem individually.
The gallery spaces were quirkily curated by ‘They Made This’, with proceeds from the sale of the sculptures being donated to Amnesty International. This colourful and creative exhibition of designers and artists work visually celebrated the core messages of Amnesty International.
For example, some of the designers highlighted their inspiration as deriving from the hope and positivity that Amnesty stands for. Rupert from Studio Rude conveyed how important the statement on their totem was in reflecting the work of Amnesty’s campaign, helping to fight abuses of human rights worldwide, and viewing his totem reminded us of our rights to be free movers and thinkers.